How many of your communications projects go nowhere because the approval process is a landmine? For many of us, that happens way too often. We diligently do our homework, developing buy-in from colleagues (by highlighting what’s in it for them) and sourcing practical insights on audience habits and wants.
We use these guidelines to get “it” right, whether it’s a first-ever formalized organizational talking points, campaign mini-site, new program marketing plan, an anniversary celebration approach, or… Then, we sit down again with those colleagues (or send a reply-to-all email with requests for specific feedback if folks are in multiple locations) to get interim or final approval.
Suddenly everyone’s a graphic designer, or a writer, or a creative director. Chaos ensues, even though we shaped the deliverable to what we heard from these same colleagues. I think you know what I mean.
There is a better way—be as strategic in your review and approval process, as you are with your marketing and fundraising work.
Guest blogger Karla Capers specializes in using the internet to raise visibility for progressive issues and engage people more deeply in campaigns. She has worked for advocacy organizations since 1996.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), where I’m Director of Engagement, faced a daunting challenge a couple of years ago: How to re-engage the many folks who were not reading or acting on our emails. It’s a common problem, for nonprofit organizations and beyond, and one that’s crucial to address.
We’re so focused on “urgent” to-dos and right-now campaigns that it’s easy to overlook a valuable engagement opportunity: Your website’s “page not found” page (a.k.a. 404 error page).
Error pages alert visitors that the page they were seeking no longer exists, or they typed in or clicked on a broken link, and redirects them to the content they want. When crafted well, your error page becomes excellent customer service, providing an engaging intro to your organizational personality, impact, and content.
Flip Frustration to Satisfaction Hitting a dead end is frustrating and time consuming. But the right error page—featuring a clear explanation of why visitors are on the page; a simple, bold graphic connected to your organization’s brand; and easy navigation to what “lost” visitors are looking for—can flip their frustration to satisfaction. Here’s how to delight your “lost” visitors as you get them where they want to go:
What’s Happening with Video at
International Rescue Committee (IRC) & Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Cathe Neukum is Executive Producer for IRC, where she’s responsible for all video content. In her two-and-a-half year tenure, she’s increased the organization’s visibility on Facebook and YouTube by over 800%.
Cathe’s latest video (at top) features actor and activist Mandy Patinkin standing with IRC aid workers in Greece to welcome families fleeing Syria and other war-torn countries for a better life. This video has been viewed 5 million times on Facebook. READ MORE
Proof Points: Research findings to use when advocating for the marketing approaches you know are right.
Talk about a perennial challenge! Inadequate time and budget remain the two primary hurdles to nonprofits’ marketing impact. But thanks to the 1,600+ nonprofit communications and fundraising staff members surveyed for the 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, we now know more.
Here are top hurdles to communications impact, straight from you and your peers in the field: READ MORE
Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring this morning, and I’m thrilled we’re not going to get stuck in the snow. In fact, it’s melting fast in the 50-degree sun right outside my New Jersey window.
Your marketing doesn’t have to stay stuck either. Instead, turn to comic genius Bill Murray for guidance on breaking out of your same old, same old marketing approach. He’ll help you take the rest of the year by storm.
Stuck on that membership renewal email series or the petition-signing campaign due to launch on Facebook last week? Ready to move from making mediocre messages to crafting content that connects quickly, and is repeated and acted on?
Then learn and laugh as you gobble your way through Jeff Brooks’ new guide to writing great nonprofit content: How to Turn Your Words Into Money: The Master Fundraiser’s Guide to Persuasive Writing. Whether you’re newish to the field, sick of the same old messages and methods, or obsessed with breaking into the all-star league, there is a way out of this message mess. Jeff provides the specific, concrete and frequently counterintuitive to-dos—and the kick in the patootie—we need.
It’s so challenging for nonprofits to get video right, especially with limited budgets and bandwidth. That’s why I so appreciate the practical guidance shared by NYC’s 501 Tech Club presenters Cathe Neukum, Executive Producer at International Rescue Committee (IRC), and Lane Beauchamp, Manager of Marketing and Media at Broadway Cares. Here’s a brief summary of what I learned:
Know Before You Go
Why us and why now? Ensure that the video is designed to advance priority goals, and is one of the best methods of doing so. Don’t just do it to do it. (Lane)
Powerful videos require planning, lots and lots of planning. Know what you’re getting into before showtime. (Cathe)
Make your video shareable. It’s not enough for people to like it, they need to share it. (Lane)
Earmark some of your video budget for paid distribution; social is a pay-to-play world at this point. (Cathe)
Many nonprofits fall into the trap of believing that their audience is the general public, when the truth is that your supporters are much more nuanced than that. By putting together a comprehensive profile of your audience, your nonprofit is better able to create personalized content that speaks to your audience and drives them to action.